Friday, September 10, 2010

Torture: Another Obama promise bites the dust

A former CIA officer accused of revving an electric drill near the head of an imprisoned terror suspect has returned to US intelligence as a contractor training CIA operatives, the Associated Press has learned.

The CIA officer wielded the drill, which was bitless, and an unloaded handgun — unauthorized interrogation techniques — to menace suspected USS Cole bombing plotter Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri inside a secret CIA prison in Poland in late 2002 and early 2003, according to several former intelligence officials and a review by the CIA’s inspector general.

Adding details to the public portions of the review, the former officials identified the officer as Albert, 60, a former FBI agent of Egyptian descent who worked as a bureau translator in New York before joining the CIA. The former officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because many details of the incident remain classified.

Both Albert and his CIA supervisor at the time, a second official known as Mike, were reprimanded for their involvement in the incident, the former officials said. The AP is withholding the last names of the two men at the request of US officials for safety reasons.

Human rights activists say the men’s actions were emblematic of harsh treatment and oversight problems in the CIA’s detention and interrogation program, amounting to torture that should have been prosecuted. They also say Albert’s return as a contractor raises questions about how the intelligence community deals with those who used unauthorized interrogation methods.

“The notion that an individual involved in one of the more notorious episodes of the CIA’s interrogation program is still employed directly or indirectly by the US government is scandalous,’’ said Ben Wizner, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union.

Remember Obama's campaign stands against torture and secret detention?

It is truly amazing how many of Obama's lofty campaign promises were abandoned after he was elected and confronted with the harsh reality of his job.

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